COLUMBUS (AP) — Fairleigh Dickinson became the second No. 16 seed in history to win an NCAA Tournament game, amazing top rated-seeded Purdue 63-58 behind 19 points from Sean Moore and a relentless, hustling defense on Friday evening.
The shortest group in the tourney, the Knights (21-15) showed no worry in swarming 7-foot-four All-America center Zach Edey from the start off. FDU’s players have been faster and extra composed than the Huge Ten champion Boilermakers (29-six).
5 years ago, UMBC showed the way for the tiny guys by overwhelming Virginia in the 1st 16-more than-1 victory just after a lot of close calls more than the years. Nonetheless, No. 16s had a 1-150 record against No. 1s and have been 1-151 general just before FDU’s shocker.
Right after the final horn, FDU’s players mobbed each and every other on the floor of Nationwide Arena, exactly where the fans from Memphis and Florida Atlantic joined forces in cheering on the Knights in the final minutes.
Fairleigh Dickinson didn’t even win the Northeast Conference Tournament, falling by 1 point in the title game to Merrimack, which couldn’t participate in the NCAA Tournament due to the fact of an NCAA rule that bars it from the postseason due to the fact it is nonetheless finishing its 4-year transition from Division II.
FDU held Purdue scoreless for extra than five 1/two minutes down the stretch and moved ahead by 5 on a three-pointer by Moore — who is from suburban Columbus — with 1:03 left. The Knights held on from there, becoming the second straight double-digit seed to send the Boilermakers property. Purdue was a three seed when it lost to 15 seed Saint Peter’s, one more modest New Jersey college, in the Sweet 16 final year.
Edey completed with 21 point and 15 rebounds in what may perhaps have been his final college game, but the Knights regularly denied him the ball down the stretch. He didn’t try a shot in the final nine minutes. The junior center is a achievable NBA lottery choose, but the bitterness of this defeat could sway him to stick about for one more year.
The Knights’ two prior NCAA Tournament wins came in the Initial 4, which includes this year, when they drubbed Texas Southern 84-61. Right after that game, Knights coach Tobin Anderson told his players he believed they could manage Edey and Co.
“The extra I see Purdue, the extra I believe we can beat them,” Anderson told his players in the locker space.
Some of Purdue’s players mentioned they felt disrespected by the comments, which turned out to be prophetic.
The Knights will now meet the Memphis-Florida Atlantic winner on Sunday for a Sweet 16 berth and trip to play at Madison Square Garden in New York subsequent week — just a quick drive from the private school’s campus in Teaneck, New Jersey.
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